259

Edit: see below for some additional thoughts following OP’s revision of the question. Let me start with this basic premise: Your students are adults. Let me repeat that: your students are adults. That is one of the great luxuries of teaching in a higher education setting: you get to spend your time and energy actually teaching the subjects you are passionate ...


102

If you do this for a minority, then you will have to do it every time a few students have some excuse. I suggest that you don’t consider this and make it clear that if they miss lectures then it is up to them to catch up on material. Providing double or triple repeats of lectures due to a few absences, especially if unpaid, is not a good use of your time. ...


82

Perhaps the best approach would be to ask leading questions that helps the lecturer head in the right direction. Or, offer an answer to a question that wasn't going well. I've taught classes (especially ones that use complex libraries, such as parts of a game engine, that I wasn't a seasoned expert with), and have had students who had more experience with ...


66

Yes, it is perfectly appropriate to refer to students in a class you are TAing as "my students." You are teaching them; hence, they are your students. It doesn't really matter whether or not you are the primary instructor.


63

The safest approach is always to make it a question about you rather than about them. "I'm confused. You said... but I had previously read/been told/seen ... instead. The two seem to conflict; can you help me understand what I'm missing, or what that other reference was missing?" They may be able to show that there isn't actually a conflict. They may be be ...


55

First, there may very well be policies in place to handle this, so I would check those first, in case your hands are tied in some way. Generally speaking however, I'm fairly permissive with medical absences and helping students catch up, if (as it seems from your email) the desire is actually for them to catch up. In your case, for example, I'd schedule a ...


54

Should I inform the project teacher, to have them exposed to the exam committee? Yes. Tell the teacher exactly what you know: that there is a game that seems very similar to your classmates' project. As a student, it's not your responsibility to decide what is and isn't plagiarism, or to decide who should be punished for dishonesty and who shouldn't, or to ...


54

Unless your university has an umbrella policy about absences, you as the instructor get to decide what you deem acceptable. In this case, I would first defer to what you wrote in the syllabus. A common type of wording is to allow "excused" absences, where a proof of an excuse can range from things like a doctor's note, official notice from the ...


51

IMO, there is no ethical problem with students preparing for a course in advance. As Moriarty notes in their answer, what matters is that the student learns the material, not when or how they learn it. That said, there are (at least) two actual problems that your question touches upon: the occasional problem of advanced (or self-taught) students taking ...


51

It sounds to me like you are allowing yourself to be emotionally manipulated by your students, particularly the one (who sounds super obnoxious) who told you about the promise for a luxury car from their parents. It’s indeed important to have empathy, and I find your conscious insistence on practicing empathy every day incredibly noble and admirable — if ...


48

Anybody who wants to participate in scientific life, even as a grad student, needs to have some way that they can be reliably reached in a timely fashion. They also need to provide that information to those who need to reach them (e.g., their professor, students if they are a TA). Whether their recommended best means is by cell phone, by email, or by ...


47

There isn't One Right Way, any more than there is one right way to teach or manage a class room as a whole. I've most taken note of a few styles: "Old-school" academic style. They state clearly in the rules/syllabus they will treat everyone professionally, with respect, and they expect the same from all students. They will be more than happy to call you out,...


44

It is perfectly ethical to inform a student that you are currently supervising about open positions, especially if the student is about to complete the thesis and is a good fit to the position. It is of course not ethical to let the student's action upon this information affect the grading of the thesis. That's for you to take care of, and I guess you were ...


42

As others have already stated, it is perfectly acceptable to show up at a conference when you are not the first author of your paper, or even if you have no paper at all at the conference. Depending on your research group and how well-funded it is, funding your trip may or may not be a problem. Your first partner in such attempts should certainly be your co-...


41

I had some serious qualms about this when I started out research in undergrad. My advisor had some pretty mistaken notions about the topic we were pursuing at the time. He is a very approachable and understanding guy but I was still a bit hesitant to say anything. After all, he was the established expert and I was the lowly undergrad. How I approached it was ...


39

I would point out the error, especially if you have a reason to believe it will be taken into account in some nontrivial way. I don't really understand why doing this goes against the student's "self-reliance". I point out errors of this kind in papers that I am refereeing, for instance, and when people read my own papers or course notes or whatever, they ...


39

All of the schools that you are discussing are first-rank computer science schools with global leadership in their areas of specialty. In this area at least, the only real difference between the "top" and "top of the top" schools that you are considering is the number of different areas in which the school is a global leader. Thus, if you already have a ...


38

You refer to a "quick back-and-forth" in your question. A danger with being too responsive is that it becomes easier for a student to ask the TA than it would be to reason it out on his own, look up material from earlier lectures or from the Internet, etc. It also encourages students to "check in" with the TA more often, e.g. about tiny changes to their code....


37

When I was a TA for a large artificial intelligence class, we frequently had this complaint from students. The reason was that, due to the nature of the class, many of the problems could be worked out eventually from first principles (or from the book or notes, since these were often open book as well) by somebody who didn't understand the material, but ...


36

In the cases I'm familiar with (U.S. universities), using your own e-mail account should be completely fine, subject to some obvious caveats. One is that it's best to have an e-mail address that doesn't look foolish or offensive. People sometimes choose very strange usernames, and you don't want that to reflect poorly on you; furthermore, you should make ...


36

As @paulgarrett has said, there's nothing wrong with sending this sort of email, and (one hopes) many professors will be pleased that a student is showing more initiative than the average. However, from the professor's perspective: unless the answer is "Yes, that's exactly correct", or "No, you clearly haven't understood the first thing about this course", ...


36

My approach is simple- homework is submitted as a typed .pdf file, no exceptions. Homework is submitted online through the course management system (Instructure's Canvas in our case), which enforces the required file extension. Yes, this means that my students need to learn how to produce typed mathematical equations. They're welcome to use LaTeX (...


36

Yes, this should be a reasonable excuse. Leaving aside the discussion in certain other answers about mandatory attendance policies and whether or not they're appropriate, there is an important factor that you haven't considered: University students are adults. Adults engage in romantic relationships that have traditionally been formalized with marriage. As ...


35

With the way this question is framed, "retracting" the idea sounds both difficult and unethical. Based on the information given here, my advice, and the only ethical path, is for the supervisor to collaborate closely with the student on the work. If the idea is good, the pair should work toward a co-authored publication. This question states that, "since [...


35

While running out of time could be indicative that the exam is too long or difficult, it would appear that is not the case if most students managed to finish early. However, I would check their grades too, as finishing early can also occur when students do not know the material or struggle with it so much that they give up. Assuming this student is an ...


35

Being a TA or RA is not being a receptionist, secretary, or personal assistant. It's also not taking pizza delivery orders. Answering phone calls is not part of the job requirements in the vast majority of cases. Now, that being said, it's possible that if the desk where your friend sits and the office where their supervisor works are physically separated ...


35

As far as I see there is nothing particularly strange with any of the authors presenting while any other authors also attend the conference. (Well, I am from mathematics where there is no such thing as "order of the authors" but I also work with people from other disciplines which do have this notion.) So having the second author presenting while the first ...


34

A student takes a course to prove he learned the stuff in the syllabus. He/she passes the course, and then has official certification that he knows that stuff. Who cares when he learned it? The trickiest part is keeping the course interesting for the high-flyers, without alienating the less able (or less knowledgeable) class members.


34

In Italy cheating in a public university can be punished with 3-12 months of imprisonment. The relevant law is almost one century old, but it is still valid today. From https://www.normattiva.it/uri-res/N2Ls?urn:nir:stato:legge:1925-04-19;475 : LEGGE 19 aprile 1925, n. 475 Art. 1 Chiunque in esami o concorsi, prescritti o richiesti da autorita' o pubbliche ...


33

Welcome to the most standard "trick" students use to get answers out of professors/TAs :). My answer is as a professor, but I think the basic principle works for TAs as well. What I usually do is turn the question back to them. Something like: S: Is this answer correct ? Me: Well, what do you think ? now things can go in different ways: case 1: ...


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